Five police murdered in Dallas. More unarmed black men killed by police. Dozens shot in Chicago. The beat goes on.
The term “police shootings” can mean shootings by police or shootings of police. Interestingly, they have the same causes and the same solutions:
- Widespread gun availability means that every police encounter — from the simplest traffic stop or jaywalking warning — can lead to a gun confrontation. The police know and fear this.
The armed and carrying public comes in all colors and stripes — some angry, some drunk or drugged, some bearing a grudge, some criminal — and the police, being human and fearing for their own lives, are on hair-trigger alert.
Even the best-trained, most compassionate police officer can, by a simple misunderstanding, believe his life is in danger, causing him to shoot before the other guy does.
- Bad apples. Police are human, and every group of humans will include at least some who either from fear or hatred or anger, will shoot an innocent person.
The fact that people are more likely to be armed today, and more likely to be aware of, and angry about, wrongful shootings by police, makes for an explosive situation.
Think of two armed people, both of whom know the other is armed, and neither of whom trusts the other to act responsibly, and you have a greatly increased possibility of an unnecessary killing.
Shootings by police bad apples inflame the populace, which responds by shooting police, in an ever-increasing helix of violence.
- Police unions and the code of silence. Police unions see their job as protecting all police from punishment even for the most egregious acts.
Similarly, the brotherhood “code of silence” keeps bad apples on the street, sticks of dynamite waiting for the slightest excuse to explode.
- The profit motive: The gun industry and its paid puppet, the NRA, care only about gun sales profits.
To increase sales, they promulgate the notion that allowing every fool on the street to carry a killing machine is what makes America safer.
Because anyone, under certain circumstances and sufficient pressure, can become a “bad guy,” the gun industry tells us we all have to be armed to protect ourselves against the “bad guys” they already have armed.
It’s a perfect profit setup: Arm some people, then tell other people they need to be armed to protect themselves against the first group.
As you arm more and more people, it’s easier to frighten the remaining people into buying guns.
- The right-wing Supreme Court: Bribed by hunting trips and other gifts of value, the right wing of the U.S. Supreme Court has come to the indefensible conclusion that the authors of the Constitution included the words “well-regulated militia” for no reason whatsoever.
The normal, plain English interpretation of the Second Amendment would be: A nation, having experienced a war for freedom, would want the ability to assemble an army quickly, in case of surprise attack.
Thus, it would want militias, and not just any crazed groups who call themselves “militias,” but militias well-regulated by the government, to which the citizenry quickly could report and be trained.
Having guns immediately available to the citizenry, expedited the purpose. Today, no such purpose exists.
To the founders, “arms” meant muzzle-loading muskets and flintlock pistols, one-shot, inaccurate weapons that took much time to load and fire. They did not anticipate an entire citizenry carrying high-powered, rapid firing weapons with large magazines — a citizenry neither trained nor regulated, and having no relationship to a government militia.
Until recently, this interpretation was understood by the Supreme Court. In fact, for all of American history, the law held that gun ownership and carry could be restricted by the government.
Only in June of 2008, just eight years ago, did the right-wing Supreme Court decide that two centuries of American law was wrong.
By a 5-4 margin (split along party lines) the Court decided, in Heller v District of Columbia, that any fool in America could carry the most lethal of killing machines.
- Gangs: Fools associate with fools, and create gangs of fools, but the problem of gangs goes well beyond foolishness.
It is a product of the Gap between the rich and the rest.
There is very little gang problem in upper-middle-class neighborhoods. Gangs feed on feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness — lack of money, lack of opportunity, lack of a future.
The solutions to police shootings — shootings by police and shootings of police — involve removing the causes.
- A liberal Supreme Court could return to the two-centuries of 2nd Amendment interpretations, allowing gun ownership only for the purpose of implementing well-regulated militias.
- The gun manufacturing industry should be nationalized, to remove the profit motive and its false propaganda about the need for everyone to carry guns
- Existing gangs could be made leaderless by application of the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) statutes. Application of the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below) would help ease the gang recruitment problem.
- Eliminate police unions. The police, firefighters, the military, NASA and other similar government workers are in a special category that should not be allowed to unionize. Their work environment is not determined by the profit motive, but rather by the law. There is no public purpose to be served by allowing unions to dictate working conditions for government-run agencies.
Then, for current gun ownership:
- There should be expanded punishment for any felony committed while carrying a gun
- Make gun ownership expensive by taxing guns and ammunition.
When we give fools the opportunity to do something foolish, fools predictably will do foolish things, especially if egged on by the gun lobby.
So now they are out there, the fools of America, walking the streets and carrying guns, a menace to themselves, to the police, and to all those around them.
Five police murdered in Dallas. More unarmed black men killed by police. Dozens shot in Chicago. The beat goes on.
It doesn’t need to be this way. We don’t need to have killings every day. The situation is not hopeless, even though it can’t be solved in a day.
The current system is not working. We can’t keep doing the same things, while hoping for a different outcome.
We need to take the first steps toward a society where we no longer have the need or the means to kill each other.
=Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich afford better health care than the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012
Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefiting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be an good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.
The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.